Ligue 1 Round-Up: Stade Brestois Go Top With Saint-Etienne Win, Auxerre Revival Continues

On a wet evening in France, there was cause to celebrate in Brest...
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Auxerre 2-0 Nice
Stade Brestois 2-0 Saint-Etienne
Caen 2-3 Nancy
Lorient 2-0 Arles-Avignon
Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Sochaux (report)
Toulouse 1-1 Racing Club de Lens
Olympique de Marseille P-P Stade Rennais

Sunday, October  31

Monaco P-P Girondins de Bordeaux
Valenciennes 1-1 Lille
Montpellier 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Auxerre 2-0 Nice

Jean Fernandez’s Auxerre side continued their good form by easing by Nice at the Stade Abbe-Deschamps.

After a moderate first period, Auxerre moved into the ascendancy on the stoke of half time. Julien Quercia did the damage on the right, centring for Valter Birsa to head home the opening goal.

AJA maintained the upper hand in the game throughout, creating more opportunities than le Gym, and they made the game safe with 77 minutes on the clock. Kamel Chafni created a shooting chance for Benoit Pedretti, which the midfield took, drilling the ball low by David Ospina.

Frederic Sammaritano had previously gone close for the Burgundy outfit, but he was thwarted by the Nice custodian.

Stade Brestois 2-0 Saint-Etienne

Newly promoted Brest sensationally moved to the top of the Ligue 1 table by defeating Saint-Etienne 2-0.

After 75 minutes of goalless play, Mario Licka opened the scoring in favour of SB29 when he headed home Bruno Grougi’s pinpoint cross.

With time running out, les Verts committed players forward and were caught on the counter as Romain Poyet emphatically finished after a cross from Benoit Lesoimier.

Sainte had gone close earlier in the match. Dimitri Payet hit the post with a fierce effort just before the break, and after the restart the same player narrowly missed the target as Christophe Galtier’s side continue to struggle.

In the closing 20 minutes, the home side were the better outfit, with Paul Bayesse and Poyet both going close before the Bretons snatched the advantage.

Caen 2-3 Nancy

It rained goals in Caen, where the hosts were beaten by a Nancy side who have an excellent record on the road this term.

Inevitably it was Youssef El-Arabi who opened the scoring for les Malherbes, breaking the Nancy resistance after only 12 minutes. A Pablo Barzola cross wasn’t properly cleared by Bakaye Traore, whose clearance dropped at the feet of the in-form striker who made no mistake.

Franck Dumas’ side would have the better of things during the first half but went in behind as Youssouf Hadji shot home from the penalty box after Traore was fouled. And it took ASNL only a further three minutes to move ahead as Gregory Tafforeau put through his own goal when Julien Feret crossed dangerously.

El-Arabi was involved in the move that brought the Normandy club level. His good work down the left resulted in a cross that was hammered into the top corner in spectacular style by Kandia Traore.

But this remarkable game was to take another twist as Traore won it for the guests, latching onto another visionary pass from Feret to snatch the victory for his side.

Lorient 2-0 Arles-Avignon

Lorient picked up all three points against bottom club Arles, though they were held for over 45 minutes by their increasingly competitive guests.

After a rather stodgy first period, Kevin Gameiro, who was the brightest member of his side throughout, opened the scoring. Alaixys Romao’s shot from the edge of the box wasn’t pushed clear by Cyril Merville, and the striker was quickly in to pounce.

It was Gameiro’s incisive burst that pushed FCL safe on 76 minutes. He got in behind the visiting defence and cut a pass back for Lynel Kitambala to smash home.

ACA offered little as an attacking threat and couldn’t complain about the outcome at full-time.

Toulouse 1-1 Racing Club de Lens

Relegation threatened Lens picked up a valuable point against a Toulouse side who could have gone top of the table had results gone their way this evening.

It only took le Tefece five minutes to open the scoring. Alaeddine Yahia was punished for a foul on Etienne Didot, and from the penalty spot Paulo Machado blasted by Vedran Runje.

Yahia’s error in the lead-up to the opener was soon forgotten as he levelled the game up from a corner kick just before the half hour mark.

After this rapid start to the game, there would be little serious action thereafter. Toifilou Maoulida went close to winning the match for Lens, who were equally indebted to Vedran Runje, who cut out a cross that Machado was surely going to convert late on. Late on, Machado hit the bar as le Tefece were left frustrated.

Valenciennes 1-1 Lille

Honours ended even in this northern derby, in which both goals arrived in the final five minutes of play.

Once again les Dogues flattered to deceive with much of their attacking play, but they created the greater volume of chances in this encounter, finally taking the lead on 86 minutes when Moussa Sow’s shot hit the bar and then the back of unfortunate goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau as the ball made its way into the net.

If Lille felt the game was over at this moment they were sorely mistaken as Mickael Landreau’s fumble from a free kick allowed Gregory Pujol to scramble home a last minute leveller.

There was to be further drama as Sow hit the post in stoppage time, leaving Lille to reflect on two more squandered points.

Montpellier 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain

In one of the weekend’s most attractive fixtures, Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain finished all square at the Stade de la Mosson.

Les Parisiens moved into the lead 10 minutes before the break. A corner kick was woefully defended by the home team, and Ludovic Giuly was on hand to pounce from just six yards out.

Montpellier’s reply was swift, and though Olivier Giroud hit the post moments after the opening goal, they found the net soon after through Marco Estrada, whose fizzing low shot bent into the corner of the net from 25 yards.

Guillaume Hoarau had the best late chance for PSG, hitting the post with an unmarked header from six yards. In the aftermath, Nene blasted a terrific opportunity over.

A draw suited neither side as both were looking to move closer to the summit of the table.

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